For many, buying a house is the dream, but having a house near water is a big part of “living the good life.” There are the scenic views and the ability to go boating, fishing and swimming at a moment’s notice. And there is another benefit which is at least as important: “Blue Mind.” Scientists have found that we have an innate personal relationship with water, and “Blue Mind” is similar to a meditative state during which stress fades away as we are calmed by seeing, hearing, smelling or feeling water.
Unfortunately, however, mosquitoes can definitely ruin it all for us, so when it comes to being able to enjoy our lakeside or riverside homes, here are a few tips on how to get rid of them and how to make them stay away.
Eliminate Breeding Sites
Any place there is standing water is a potential breeding site. Keeping in mind that mosquitoes can breed in half an inch of water, be sure to take care of the following:
- Remove water from clogged gutters and downspouts, birdbaths, fountains, plant pot saucers and wading pools.
- Remove piles of grass, leaves, firewood and other lawn debris—they are keeping the ground damp.
- Keep boats covered or upside down or remove rainwater weekly.
- Keep swimming pools and hot tubs clean and chlorinated.
- Regularly check ponds, refuse containers and recycling bins, particularly after rain.
- Level the ground around your home so that there are no low spots, holes or depressions that can accumulate water.
Treat the Standing Water That You Cannot Eliminate
Suppose there’s a pond on or near your property. You can’t drain it, for sure. The next best thing is to treat it with mosquito dunks and bits. Dunks are small round “cakes” that you toss into standing water. They dissolve, releasing a chemical that controls mosquito larvae. Bits are similar to dunks and contain the same chemical. The difference is that dunks release the chemical slowly and treat the water for 30 days, and bits are fast-acting and release it in 24 hours.
A relatively new remedy is being studied now. The idea that coffee grounds added to standing water can prevent the larvae from developing is a very promising and organic solution.
Control Tall Grass and Shrubbery
Mosquitoes like to rest up during the day and often hide in tall grass, shrubs and plants to be at their best for their evening combat missions! Keep your lawn cut to no more than five inches. If you aren’t able to eliminate the tall grass (for instance, it’s not on your property), place your family outdoor living spaces and equipment—things such as grills, picnic tables and playground equipment—as far away from that area as possible.
Use Mosquito-Repelling Plants
Mosquito-repelling plants cannot solve the mosquito problem all by themselves, but when used in conjunction with other measures, they are quite effective at keeping the pesky insects away. Besides, plants are an ornamental and fragrant addition to your landscape. Among the most popular are:
- Citronella grass
- Scented geraniums
Lure and Capture Using Traps
You can also make use of different traps to get rid of mosquitoes. Mosquito magnets, for instance, lure insects with a steady flow of carbon dioxide, and then vacuum them into a net where they get trapped. An added advantage is that the process disrupts the breeding cycle and mosquito populations are diminished.
Electronic mosquito lamps are also a quiet and safe alternative. They release varied light waves that attract mosquitoes to a powerful fan. These lamps are powered by USB and so can be connected to adapters, computers, tablets, etc. They’re portable and can be taken camping or on any other outdoor activity.
Mosquito zappers are very popular for patios and pool decks. They run on electricity and use LED light to attract mosquitoes. There are no chemicals involved, and a sturdy plastic shell protects children and pets from their electrical grids.
Create a Mosquito Barrier
Mosquito barriers are made from pure garlic oil extracted from the most potent species of garlic. (You’ll never find it in your local supermarket.) Garlic contains high amounts of sulfur, which is highly toxic to mosquitoes but harmless to humans, pets and plants.
Mix the mosquito barrier product with water as directed on the package and deliver it using a backpack sprayer or a pump sprayer. One spray around your property should keep mosquitoes away for at least a month. Mosquitoes are 10,000 times more susceptible to the odor than humans: the smell dissipates within 30 minutes for humans, but mosquitoes will smell it for several weeks.
Spray in areas where mosquitoes are most prevalent, namely in wet and damp areas. Target the tall grass, shrubbery and plants around your home. And create a figurative barrier around your outdoor living space—where you relax, where you have your cookouts, or where you watch the sun set (or rise) over the lake or river.
This may be news to some of us, but farmers have been using garlic as a mosquito repellent for generations, particularly in protecting their horses and cattle from the painful bites. It’s an effective, economical and environmentally friendly weapon against mosquitoes.
All of this may sound like a lot to do. Maybe it’s turning off your dream of living along a river or by a lake, but don’t let it. The main reason we say this is that you may not have to take all of these steps; more likely, once you start keeping your property mosquito-free, the less you will have to do. Then you can have a “Blue Mind” unsullied by mosquitoes.
This is a guest post by RentOwn.net.